Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ham Radio in Life Magazine

I ran across some Life Magazine photos that are digitized at Google. Right is an example:

Smitty tinkering with his set, during Radio Ham-Operator's Field Day.
Date taken:June 1946
Photographer:Walter B. Lane

You can find more at this Google Images link. So, who was Smitty? He has a nice rig there. Check out the dynamotor for the B+ supply!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hams can do that? For $2B?

"State Said to Be Close to Dropping Police Radio Project" says today's NY Times:
State Said to Be Close to Dropping Police Radio Project
Published: January 10, 2009
State officials are close to canceling a $2 billion contract to build a statewide wireless network for emergency agencies, according to officials briefed on the results.

Every once in a while, a news article stands out. I ask myself how much communications infrastructure could you build for $2 B if you asked radio amateurs to work on this problem? (Even if you pay them a fair wage.) That cost is staggering, considering what you could do with a few NVIS-based networks for, say, 1/1000 of the price!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Thoughts

Paraphrasing my favorite bookstore bookmark: Danger, the next year may be odd.

Steve K9ZW has a posting that brings home a good question. Is your on-line data secure? (Also, the post from K9JY.) What if your hosting service melts down? Some folks have been able to migrate their blogs and web sites when that has happened. But if you're like me, using a proprietary service such as, you may not have that option.

That's an argument for putting anything of long-term value onto a site using industry standard software - preferably open source. But even open source solutions will fade after a while. You can always go back to bare HTML, saving your own off-line backups. (Even then, what are your choices for archival backups?)

It's something to think about.